Memories from annual A.C. tattoo show should last a lifetime
Although they are all the rage today, tattoos have decorated people's bodies for thousands of years. While it's hard to say what culture originated these skin illustrations, their popularity has surged in recent years. This weekend, you can see what's new in the tattoo world at the annual Drawin' the Wild Card tattoo extravaganza taking place at the Atlantic City Convention Center.
Now in its fourth year, the event is bigger and better than ever with more than 80,000 square feet of action and 100-plus tattooists from around the world. It's become one of the country's largest and most entertaining tattoo shows.
"It's grown immensely," says show promoter Jon Henderson. "As far as the entertainment and all the tattooists, it's probably one of the bigger shows on the East Coast, if not the country."
This year's show features motorcycles and hot rods, allowing the public to choose which bike and rod deserves the "Best of Show" designation. Entertainment will include the Bindalstiffs Family Circus, the B.O.W. Skate and Bike Stunt Show and Stupid Stuff People Do for Money. The latter show allows participants to set aside their pride and compete for cash and prizes by acting like idiots in front of an audience.
Other highlights include tattoo contests with awards, an appearance by the Philadelphia Roller Girls and circus antics and sideshows. Numerous clothing and novelty vendors will also be on hand.
There's another new entertainment feature that should get a lot of attention this year.
"We're putting together our first pin-up girl contest," say Henderson. "If you look at our graphics on the Web site and posters, that's actually a girl that my partner Terry had sketched -- she became our poster girl. So this year, at the show itself, we are going to do a poster girl contest. It'll be based on overall appearance, tattoos [and] everything."
Whether you're considering a tattoo or not, Drawin' the Wildcard offers something for everyone.
"It's an excellent show," says Henderson. "A great opportunity for people to come check out some great art and get tattooed by people they may never actually have the opportunity to get tattooed by again."
Atlantic City's 4th annual Drawin' the Wildcard
When: Friday, June 8 to Sunday, June 10
Where: Atlantic City Convention Center.
Hours: Friday, 2-10pm; Saturday, noon to 10pm; Sunday, noon-7pm.
How Much: $20 for a one-day pass, $35 for a two-day pass and $45 for a three-day pass.
Details: An adult must accompany anyone under the age of 18. Free admission for children under 12 with a parent or guardian. For more information, visit www.drawinthewildcard.com or call 866-DTW-SHOW.
“All and all I’m excited to bring the festival back — I think it was a piece missing from Atlantic City.”
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The work was classy, along the lines of the pin-ups drawn by Alberto Vargas or Olivia De Berardiniz. You could tell because Eldis already had a pretty cool completed pin-up on his right arm — part of the special birthday present he was giving himself.
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